On a frosty, early February morning with snow in the mountains, I set out on my walk along the banks of the River Moy in Ballina from the Salmon Weir Bridge to the Quay, passing along my route reminders of an unfinished canal that Georgian-era visionaries dreamed would link the town to Lough Conn. It […]
All along the winding North Coast Road from Ballycastle to Belderrig Storm Bella came howling down from Greenland walloping the car with fitful splatterings of rain and hail. Approaching Céide, the car was rocking like a ship in a storm, its windscreen wipers batting away noisy pellets of hail the north-westerly was spitting out with […]
An Arctic scene of snow, frost and ice by the shores of Lough Cullin; more reminiscent of Lapland in December than winter in Mayo. The freezing air was so cold it numbed my face like a dentist’s anesthetic, making it difficult to speak without sounding like a recording in reverse. A lone cyclist slowly wheeled […]
Gliding over the still, high water of the River Moy, the lone kayak looked as if it was skimming across a painter’s landscape. Beneath beech, sycamore, birch and willow, the reflected autumnal hues of red, yellow, russet and gold were smeared across the river like strokes from a watercolourist’s brush; and the mirror trunks of […]
Below me Portacloy’s golden strand, from where I had set out on my trek over Benwee Head (An Bhinn Bhuí), sparkled under a September sun and all around stretched the epic landscape of the North Mayo cliffs; the dizzying heights, at once, an awe-inspiring and terrifying experience. On this beautiful morning, there was no better […]
The bundles of bugles along the trail in Belleek Wood herald the arrival of mid-summer in this Moyside paradise where the unassuming flower blooms in a shaded fernery of unfurling green beneath a canopy of lanky larch and leggy hawthorn. From a distance the bugle is not a show-stopper; its true beauty only fully appreciated […]
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Nature is taking advantage of the absence of human activity during lockdown; left unchecked by the hand of man there is an explosion of wildness even in urban areas like Ballina.
Foraging along the deserted banks of the River Moy, beneath the silent Cathedral belfry, life as normal continues for the piping waders, deaf to the struggles of the human world.
The following lines from Shakespeare seem appropriate at this worrying and unprecedented time when self-isolation and entire continents in lockdown seem our only defence against Coronavirus (COVID-19).